External parasites create a big impact on both pets and their pet-parent because they cause cutaneous lesions, transmit diseases, transmit zoonotic (animal to human transmission) infections, and may interfere with human-pet bond.
The most common flea species found on dogs and cats are Ctenocephalides felis. Fleas are wingless, laterally flattened, blood-sucking insects with robust hindlegs enabling them to jump.
Once emerged from the pupa, adult male and female fleas start to actively seek a host although in the absence of a host they can survive for a few days. After the first blood meal, they need daily blood meals for survival and usually remain on the same host for the remainder of their life. Female fleas can produce 20~50 eggs per day. Once laid pearly white eggs fall off into the environment and will hatch into a larva after a few days under ideal environmental conditions.
Fleas that are well adapted to indoor environments may live outside their host for a certain period of time. Fleas have low host specificity and have been found on a variety of pets such as rabbits and ferrets as well as wild mammals. Fleas are known to transmit/cause major diseases to our pets, such as diphylidiosis, bartonellosis, and flea allergy dermatitis.
The bites can cause intense itching, irritation and a hypersensitive animal will often require veterinary assistance. Other implications of flea infestation are secondary bacterial and fungal infection, heavy blood-sucking arthropods can cause anemia, and can infect pets’ owners as well.
Fleas eradication requires treatment of pets, and their environment. The success of control will depend on how these treatments are performed.
Many products are available to control the infestation of fleas on your pets. From treatments given orally (chewables), topical solution (spot-on or spray), shampoo, and collar. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian first before application. Some treatments are age-sensitive meaning treatments that are given only at a certain age. Some flea control treatments are not to be used on cats. The health condition of the animal should also be considered for example pets that are too weak or pregnant. Veterinarians also know which product is suitable for your pets, in some cases veterinarians tend to rotate anti-flea treatments to make sure which product is effective on each case. Anti-flea treatments may work well in the past but work less effective due to resistance and the extent of the infestation.
Oral Anti Flea Treatments are given orally, working systemically and killing adult fleas. Usually take effect within a few hours after ingestion. These anti-flea treatments give 4~12 weeks of protection depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Due to less to no flea infestation pets can experience relief from itching, less allergic dermatitis, and better skin and coat conditions.
NexGard Flea & Tick Chewables is an innovative flea and tick preventive. It’s the first of its kind to kill fleas and ticks because it comes in a tasty, beef-flavored soft chew that will protect your dog for a full 30 days from a flea and tick infestation.
Topical Anti Flea Treatments are liquid solutions applied on the back of the pet, directly to the skin. Usually, owners are advised to avoid bathing their pets within 24 hours and touching the application site to allow the solution to dry. Make sure to apply the solution on the right spot to prevent your pets from reaching or licking the area. May give protection from fleas up to 4~12 weeks depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation.
FRONTLINE Plus kills adult fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae for up to three months. FRONTLINE Plus also prevents the development of all flea stages for up to three months. FRONTLINE Plus can control fleas for up to three months, however, if there is a high risk of reinfestation or if the pet has fleas that may cause flea allergy dermatitis, a once monthly application may be needed.
Shampoo Anti Flea Treatments are quite effective when used properly. Some products may require a few minutes of soaking and let the shampoo sink in. Should also consider if the product is non-toxic and safe for puppies and kittens. However, shampoos can only provide a minimum period of protection against fleas.
Rid your pets of fleas and ticks with Pet Silk Flea & Tick Shampoo. Flea & Tick Shampoo cleans your pet without leaving any insecticide residue. Rinses clean to keep your dog looking and feeling great! Use Pet Silk Flea & Tick Dip for a stronger flea and tick formula for dogs and cats. A long lasting, residual flea and tick control. Kills and repels fleas, ticks, lice, flies and mosquitoes. For dogs cats, puppies and kittens over 12 weeks old.
Tag/Collar Anti Flea Treatments works as both a repellant and a treatment. It emits a scent that repels fleas and provides medications that penetrate into the fat layer on the dog’s natural skin oils. Some tag/collar anti-flea treatments are designed to provide protection for up to 8 months.
Seresto is a proprietary, odorless collar that destroys and repels fleas and ticks, destroys lice, and helps for eight consecutive months to treat and manage sarcoptic mange on dogs, setting it apart from traditional collars. With the non-greasy, easy-to-use comfort of a leash, Seresto delivers the performance your customers demand from a monthly flea and tick preventative.
Pets can acquire fleas anywhere in their environment from parks, groomers, from other animals. Even humans can be carriers of fleas through their clothes and shoes. Fleas can jump up to 6 inches and can easily infest your pet. To successfully control fleas, the premises and other possible vehicles of fleas should be treated. Effective and safe solutions should be used on the floor, carpets, sofa, and furniture. Pet beddings, clothes, pet food, and bowls should be treated, washed, and dried. Make sure to check the instructions, the product may be recommended to apply without the presence of animals.
Flea Treatment for Cats and Home Spray formulated for cats, specifically. With Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray for Cats, declare war on fleas and ticks while preserving your home and family safe from harsh chemicals! By touch, our special blend of certified natural oils kills fleas, flea eggs, and ticks; and the non-staining product can be used on surfaces in your home without fear.
The SENTRY Flea Comb for Dogs helps to remove fleas and flea larvae. When combing through the fur of your dog, it also removes fine particles and dust. For a relaxed grip, the SENTRY Flea Comb for Dogs has an ergonomic handle.
The Earth Pet Electronic Flea Trap attracts fleas with LED light, without using drugs. With a metallic adhesive film, the fleas are trapped. It can be put anywhere in the house and is battery-operated.
Keep in mind that adult fleas, flea eggs, and larvae are everywhere and can infest your pets anytime. Provide preventive regimens for your pets and their environment regularly, to keep away from fleas. For treatments, consult your veterinarian to know which product is safe and best to use for your pets.